Principal Designer, GE Healthcare
Doug had been designing MRI and CT machines for more than 20 years at GE when he came to the d.school’s executive education program. He returned home and immediately decided to dig into the user experience of the cutting-edge technology he designed. Beyond how it looked and functioned, how was the experience for patients? Immediately he found an extreme need: Children–frequently terrified by the idea of lying still and alone in the midst of huge, noisy equipment–often needed to be sedated to get through a scan, adding unnecessary risk, fear and creating a generally awful experience. Without an official budget or staff, Doug put together a team of people who cared deeply about the issue — staff from a local children’s museum, kids, doctors and hospital workers whose job it is to help families get through a scan.
The result? With some paint, scents, lights and a little imagination, the scan rooms were turned into adventures: in one room, the room is an ocean and the scanner is a submarine, in another the scanner becomes a tent in a camping experience. The “adventure series” scanners have been hugely popular with kids, and the hospitals and doctors who are GE’s customers. Doug now trains other GE employees–both in the medical division and beyond–to use design thinking and innovation methods in their teams.